Windows 11's BSOD Is Now Actually The Black Screen Of Death

Black Screen Of Death
The infamous blue screen of death (BSOD) that occurs when Windows runs into a critical error and barfs all over itself could be changing color, to black. If so, we can recycle the same BSOD abbreviation—it will just stand for black screen of death when Windows 11 arrives. Or at least that is the way it is looking right now, with the official Windows 11 Insider preview build.

A BSOD screen is associated with a stop error, which occurs when something trips up Windows. It can be bad RAM, a wonky driver, or any number of things. I am not sure if Microsoft has ever officially acknowledged or confirmed this, but the prevailing thought on the use of the color blue for a system crash is because it is thought to have a calming effect on people.

There have been other colors used in various releases and builds, like red and green, but blue has by far been the most common one for stop errors. That might be changing, as a Windows Insider has discovered. Have a look...

It is entirely possible that only test builds will have a black screen of death, and that Microsoft will go back to using blue when the finalized version of Windows 11 ships in October of November of this year (Microsoft has not confirmed a release date yet). But it is also possible that black is the new blue, and what you see above will be the norm for fatal errors.

Microsoft has not issued a statement on the matter, but it is being reported that the change to a black screen of death is coming so that it will be consistent with login and shutdown screens in Windows 11, both of which are black as well.

Regardless of the color, you don't want to see these screens if you can avoid them. To be fair, they do not come up as often as they did back in the day. But they do still pop up (sometimes a buggy Windows update can trigger a BSOD). They also contain limited information—usually a general error label, along with a sad face and a message saying, "Your device ran into a problem and needs to restart. We're just collecting some error info, and then you can restart."

Getting to the root of the issue can require extensive digging. The Event Viewer is the place to start, though it would be helpful if these error screens were more straightforward in reporting what triggered them. Like, how about saying, "Hey, sorry to tell you this, but your RAM is hosed. Like, completely jacked. Your device needs to restart, but until you replace that borked module in the right DIMM slot, you're likely to see me again." Maybe we'll see that kind of detail with Windows 12.